PHILADELPHIA - As deadly violence continues to plague Philadelphia, local Black clergy members say better recreation centers would help keep kids off the street and they've been waiting for better or new centers that were promised years ago.
Strawberry Mansion is frustrated. The Cecil B. Moore rec center on 22nd Street needed structural improvements for years. Reverend Greg Holston of Black Clergy of Philadelphia says soda tax money was supposed to have already covered it.
"Yet five years later, it still has not received the rebuilding funds that it needs. Yet five years later the roof is still having difficulties and problems. Yet five years later there’s still problems with the heat," he said.
The rec center is at the heart of Strawberry Mansion’s youth mentoring and after-school programs… And the folks who run the center have been hearing about money allocated. When does the work begin?
Cecil B Moore will receive $10 million in improvements, according to a statement from Rebuild Philly Director of Communications Raymond Smeriglio — who adds that the next scheduled public meeting is set for January. Community feedback is welcomed. Senator Sharif Street says the center’s importance is now proven crucial.
"People recognize that the violence is driven by our young people. And that when you have programmatic activities for our young people? You see a direct reduction in violence," Street said.